A lot is happening in the U District! April saw milestones for two ongoing projects. First, we’ve released draft streetscape designs for Brooklyn Ave NE, NE 43rd St., and NE 42nd St. Second, we’re requesting public comments on the U District Urban Design Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
You are invited to attend a scoping meeting for the U District Urban Design EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) on September 24. The EIS will study potential impacts of implementing the U District Urban Design Framework, which was created by members of the community and City planners throughout 2012 and 2013. The upcoming meeting will describe the EIS process, draft zoning alternatives, and topics to be considered in the EIS document.
In June, DPD and our community partners completed the U District Urban Design Framework (UDF). This document draws from a year of working group meetings and extensive public input. Our public engagement process has sought to balance interests in the community from a wide range of participants and perspectives.
Since late 2011, DPD has been working with the U District community toward completion of an Urban Design Framework in April of this year. The Urban Design Framework will provide broad guidance for future development, streetscapes, public spaces, and other investments as the neighborhood changes over the coming decades. Much of the change anticipated in the U District will result from the light rail coming on-line in 2021, bringing 12,000 riders to the neighborhood daily.
DPD is undertaking a major planning project for the University District core neighborhood. The department is partnering with community residents, businesses, social service agencies, the faith community, and the University of Washington through the University District Livability Partnership. The partnership is “a four-year strategic initiative to encourage investment for a vibrant, walkable University District community.”
DPD and members of the University District community are about halfway through a planning process intended to update the vision for future development in that neighborhood. The Future Development and Urban Design Working Group has been meeting twice a month since June to discuss topics including housing, streetscapes, open space, and transit opportunities. Our thinking about all of these topics is influenced by the planned 2021 opening of a Link light rail station at NE 43rd St. and Brooklyn Ave NE.
The Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is beginning a new initiative for Seattle’s University District. Information about the University District Urban Design Framework (UDF) initiative is available on a new web site and Facebook page. The web site includes an “existing conditions” report and other project information.
The University District is a unique, thriving neighborhood with bustling retail corridors, the University of Washington, students, residents, workers and more. The U District is known for its year-round farmer’s market, the annual street fair, and agencies and churches that serve a diversity of social needs.